Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Tuesdays::Success Stories

 Remember Dalonne and Job?

I'm trying to find a nice, gentle way to say this, but I'm coming up short.
Here's the honest truth:
Early on I thought Dalonne was going to fail.
Job is one of the only HL babies I thought would not make it.
Every week I'd look at him and think, "She can't do this.  He's going to die."
I struggled with a lot of anger and frustration towards this mom and her situation.
I'd be doing laundry, Dalonne and Job would come to mind, and I'd say terrible things to God.
"Why does this world wreak of depravity and death?  Do you care?  Do you see this? Where are you for people like Dalonne?  For babies like Job?"
Yet here they are.  Both doing so well.  God was here.  I just could not see.
We all sat and marveled today at this baby and this mom's love and care for him.
Fat, healthy baby.  Proud, doting mom.

Babies who are most happy in their mother's laps.  Success.

Fat, fat, chunky, breastfed, rolley-polley babies.  Success.

Young mothers, living in the Harbor House, 
learning to be world-changing mothers, raising the next generation of Haiti.   

Loved, healthy babies.  Success.

Moms connected to other moms.  Supporting each other.  Talking. Laughing.  While babies breastfeed and play on their mother's laps.  Success.

Loved moms.  Loved babies.  Success.


I needed to remember God's faithfulness when I sat down to talk to this new mom.  We don't normally let new moms join our Tuesday class.  Tuesday class is filled with women whose babies we have delivered.  We did their prenatal care.  We know them.  We have a relationship with them.  We love them.  This lady had such a tragic story, we knew she needed to start coming on Tuesdays.

Her daughter is four months old.  In July, this mom was shot.  The bullet went through her abdomen.  She had to quit breastfeeding because it was too painful to hold her baby to feed her.   When I asked about her living situation Agathe said, "She doesn't even live in a tent.  She lives under a tarp."  She has not nursed her daughter in 26 days.  "What have you been feeding her," we asked?  This mother has been buying canned milk and cookies, mashing up the cookies and feeding her baby that milk/cookie mixture.  She came to us hoping to get some formula for her baby.

Formula.  It kills babies in this country.

The easy way out, the easy way to feel good about ourselves as wealthy Americans with access to "stuff" in this country would be to hand out free formula to this lady.  For a few weeks this baby would have food that was more healthy than canned milk and cookies.  But this mom has no way to buy formula once her breastmilk and her change purse are all dried up.  She has no way to keep bottles sterile.  She has no way to insure the formula is always mixed with clean water.  The result?  This baby would more than likely get diarrhea.  Something as simple as diarrhea kills babies every single day in Haiti.  Babies quickly get dehydrated and die.

If we would have handed this mom a bag of formula today she would have walked away smiling.  Thankful.  We could have felt good about ourselves and maybe even a little thankful that she was gone.  She has lots of poverty-related issues.  Moms like this require a lot of work initially.  Today she asked me to pay for her other kids to go to school.  She asked me for food.  She will do those things until she learns:  "What we are here to give you is education and information.  We're here to give you the opportunity to do things for yourself.  We're here to free you from needing people like us.  We're here to remind you that you can be freeYou can be a great mom.  You can change Haiti for the better."

She will hear us say those things hundreds of times.  One day those words will stick to her soul.  They will become a part of who she is.

The easy way out would have been that sack full of formula.  I'm convinced that the easy way out, disguised in sacks full of free formula, is killing babies in countries like this one.

Miraculously I was able to express milk from this mom's breast.  "You have milk!  If you have milk, why haven't you been nursing your baby?"  She went on to tell us that the baby wants to breastfeed but everyone keeps telling her not to let her baby nurse because it will poison the baby since the mother was shot.  This is what we're up against here.  Lies.  Myths.  Superstition.  This mother has life-saving food in her body for her baby and she's spending what very little money she has on cookies and canned milk.

We told this mom about God's care and faithfulness in sparing her life and in providing milk for her baby.  It's a miracle this mom has so much milk after not breastfeeding for almost a month.  So we labor this week to increase this mom's milk supply.  She needs love, support, and lots of encouragement.  She'll come every day to the Maternity Center to fill her water bottle.  We'll keep her body hydrated and give her medications that increase her milk supply.  We'll cheer her on.  We'll tell her she can do this.  We'll monitor the baby.  We'll pray for a miracle.

We're praying for another success story.  These women and these babies are slowly teaching this heart of mine what Mary spoke long ago.  "Nothing is impossible with God." 


Kim said...

Beautiful. Just beautiful.

Amanda said...

Just wanted to say thanks for you blog. I don't often comment but I know God is using your words in my life for awesome changes and opportunities. :)

Ruth Ann said...

The lies never cease to amaze me. It just seems that where there is poverty, Satan has such a foothold and can just suck the hope right out of these people! It makes me so angry! But I love this post that opens our eyes to the ways God is moving and using His people to bring truth... and I'm so grateful for you and Heartline not taking the easy way out. Praying for this mom and baby! Please update us on how they are doing!

Allison in Kentucky said...

Keep fighting the good fight. Just keep fighting. I wish I could hug your neck. Thanks for sharing.

Bob & Judy said...

Heroes. All of ya. The moms. The midwives. The one who cook and clean. The ones who care enough to say, "That's a lie, and you can do better."

Heroes. said...

I don't comment often but I should. I want you to know how much I look forward to reading your words on each new post. Thank you for bringing us closer to this country. I love love love to see how much you are teaching these women to depend on what the Lord has already provided! Thank you for all you are doing there. Thank you for your honesty in your posts. Thank you for sharing! :)

SarahBeth said...

I just cried reading this post. The beautiful, growing babies, but then the lies and fear and poverty that kills babies all together. Moms in America take breast feeding for granted; see it as an imposition a pain and often just throw it away for convenience. I'll be praying for this mother and baby...

Anonymous said...

BEAUTIFUL post. Praise God for all you are doing. Keep up the wonderful, God inspired work.

Kelly in Michigan

Anonymous said...

I had chills when I read that you were able to express milk from her breast. Such. A. Blessing! Her milk supply is salvagable!! I'll be praying for an overabundance of milk for her baby.


(Oh, and my word verification is "sucksken". How funny!)

Lois said...

Never heard of your blog before, till today. Pretty cool that you are helping this mom find the REAL solution! Praying it goes well and the baby thrives!